Saudi Arabia drags down index

08 May 2014

All markets fail to record growth, with the kingdom posting the biggest fall

A decline in Saudi Arabia’s projects market contributed to the value of the Gulf Projects Index falling by 0.2 per cent in the week up to 6 May, as all the Gulf countries failed to record growth.

The value of schemes planned or under way in Saudi Arabia, the region’s biggest projects market, fell by 0.5 per cent to reach $1.1bn. The drop was due to the completion and cancellation of $7.4bn-worth of schemes. The largest to be cancelled was a $3.5bn project to build a second aluminium smelter at Jizan Economic City. The biggest completed project was the $1.2bn Yanbu Export Refinery.

Despite the fall, Saudi Arabia’s projects market has seen a strong year to date, with the value of its projects sector up 18.4 per cent year-on-year, making it the fastest-growing country in the index.

Project updates
 Project nameProject status
IraqZubair field development: South degassing stationExecution
KuwaitNine hospitals expansion: Al-Sabah hospital Execution
Saudi ArabiaKing Khaled Medical CityMain contract bid
Saudi ArabiaYanbu export refinery: hydrocracker (EPC 4)Complete
UAESaadiyat Island: New York UniversityComplete
For further information visit

The UAE, the region’s second-largest market, recorded a 0.2 per cent decrease, despite 27 new schemes worth a total of $1.9bn being launched. The value of the new projects was offset by the completion of 11 schemes, including a $900m project to build a branch of New York University on Saadiyat Island.

Bahrain, the region’s smallest projects market, recorded a 0.1 per cent fall, as construction of a $70m warehouse was completed. Bahrain is the weakest market in the GCC this year, with the value of its projects sector down 9.4 per cent on the same period in 2013.

Upcoming tender deadlines
 ClientContractSubmission date
KuwaitKuwait Oil CompanyProvision of masterplan for installation services18 May
UAENakheelJebel Ali Village Club20 May
UAETourism Development & Investment CompanyGuggenheim Museum5 Jun
Saudi ArabiaHealth MinistryKing Khaled Medical City18 Jun
EgyptNew & Renewable Energy AuthorityDesign, manufacture and construction of 120MW wind farm20 Jul
For further information visit

Qatar’s projects market slipped 0.1 per cent, as two road schemes worth a total of $459m were completed. However, Qatar’s projects sector has enjoyed a strong year so far, with the value of its index up by 15 per cent year-on-year, making it the second-fastest growing market in the region.

Outside the GCC, the value of projects planned or under way in both Iran and Iraq remained unchanged.

Contract awards

Biggest contract $1.7bn

Awarded to Spain’s Tecnicas Reunidas for the offsites and utilities package at Saudi Aramco’s gasification power project at Jizan Economic City

$1.8bn Value of major contract awards

3 Number of contracts awarded

For further information visit

A MEED Subscription...

Subscribe or upgrade your current package to support your strategic planning with the MENA region’s best source of business information. Proceed to our online shop below to find out more about the features in each package.

Get Notifications